In a letter issued to Ministers Norma Foley and Simon Harris, the Irish Second-level Students’ Union has called for a set of measures to be taken following the announcement of the Leaving Certificate results date. The measures the organisation is advocating for centre around accommodation for students in Irish third-level institutions along with a fair transition for those who plan on studying overseas.
The measures, as seen in the attached letter, are laid out below.
- Certainty to be provided to students applying to European universities that they will be able to progress to third-level.
- All Universities to be instructed to provide flexibility for first year students and move all payments and application deadlines for on campus accommodation until after the CAO Offers are released.
- Government representatives to meet with private student accommodation providers to ensure these groups also move all payment and application deadlines until after CAO Offers are released, ensuring affordable accomodation options are available to 1st year students.
- All third-level institutions to not commence teaching for first year students before September 25th, in order to give a fair and adequate timeframe to students.
- The Department of Education to evaluate the possibility of bringing forward the release date.
- The Department of Education to communicate the reasoning behind the results timeline to the student body.
- Clarifications surrounding the Appeals Process timeline are communicated to the student body.
ISSU President Reuban Murray commented, “Right now the turnaround time faced by students is too close and third-level institutions need to recognise this. It is completely in the power of the individual colleges to move back their start date for students and change the accommodation arrangements for incoming first years. This transition is going to be a challenge for students but if all stakeholders come together, then we can work together to find a feasible solution.”
Mr. Murray further noted, “We welcome the news from UCAS that their deadline for results will now be September 7th – this is a great relief for many students, but there are still no answers for the hundreds of students applying to universities in places like the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Germany. Some students are facing result deadlines of August 26th, and not starting this year may exclude them from applying for grants in the future. There is real worry – and we need to give these students clarity as soon as possible”.
The ISSU welcomes the early announcement of the results date, which now gives the education sector time to recognise its impacts and adapt to the situation.